15 August 2018

Egypt Prepares 4mw Solar Power Project for Uganda's Renewable Energy

The business environment in Uganda is proving to be more conducive for investors with more investments lining up for a share of the economy.

In a bid to be consistently competitive in the East African region, the Government continues to put efforts to make necessary adjustments to facilitate the growth of businesses and attraction of the same. The value of Foreign Direct Investments continues to rise in the country to affirm the economic development taking place.

Egypt is currently at the forefront of establishing stronger bilateral relations with its African partner. The transcontinental party, in partnership with the Government of Uganda, will implement a 4MW solar power project that is geared at improving the country's renewable energy performance. Renewable energy has been touted as a reliable source of power for African nations, and a vehicle to drive economic growth. European countries have imbibed the idea as well to enjoy the benefits accrued to it.

Under the grant agreed upon by the two parties, Egypt has provided the necessary equipment and engineering services while Uganda has provided the 7.5-hectare land upon which the project will be implemented. The latter will also cater to the logistics of the project in terms of taxes and shipping cost from Mombasa, Kenya. The project will be Uganda's third largest power station.

95% of Uganda's population use traditional solid fuels for domestic activities like cooking and heating. Despite the country being rich in renewable energy sources, a good proportion is still unexploited. This has limited the country's energy production and expansion of the industrialization sector. Financial risks have been one of the barriers to major exploitation of such regions to support diverse sectors.

Less than 10% of the country's hydropower is being exploited, which has a massive potential for electricity generation. Hydropower could not be counted on much as it is affected by climatic change. Biomass energy is the second most popular renewable resource, especially for villagers. The wind energy has a bright future in the country, which the Government could invest in to facilitate its energy supply with the help of wind turbines. Solar energy has shown promising potential which has received much attention and financial aid.

The country's estimated renewable energy potential stands at 5,300 MW. Rural electrification will not only attract investments but have a ripple effect on major sectors as industry and agriculture. The country highly relies on agriculture as the backbone of the economy and more investment to better its performance would serve the country right. Poor infrastructure has been a barrier to the development of such areas as they would push the operation cost high.

Access to modern energy services through renewable energy development is a major concern for the energy sector in Uganda.

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